"After successful collaborations with prestigious guests like Jim O´Rourke and Oren Ambarchi and the widely acclaimed Fire! Orchestra release earlier this year our Swedish friends are back as a trio, lighting up a sonic blaze of rock based riffs and hypnotic jazz-psychedelia. As far from noodling instrumentals as it’s possible to get, the tracks are spontaneously combusting rituals with a clear sense of purpose. Each of the three members is gifted with a formidable technique and arsenal of tricks and effects on their respective instruments, and the album also sees acclaimed saxophonist Mats Gustafsson boosting his already versatile skills, by swapping to Fender Rhodes and electronics on selected tracks. The oddly cut-up titles are lifted and inspired by Smog founder Bill Callahan’s letters to Emma Bowlcut, recently published in a volume by Chicago label Drag City. The strategy gives an insight into the broadminded frame of reference of this eclectic trio. With all three members pulling in elements from free jazz, ambient improvisation and electronic music, their music has reached a new confidence and intensity. "
"With the unmistakable “Ex energy”. The three-pronged guitar approach is still as exciting as ever, with the guitars of Andy Moor, Terrie Hessels and Arnold de Boer creating tense, interlocking webs of connections and drummer Katherina Bornefeld pushing the band with dancing, hypnotic patterns. - Guy Peters, Geraarsbergen, 2018 "
Mats Gustafsson With John Russell & Phil Minton
"Multi-reedist Mats Gustafsson explores unique environments in improvised music with two duos performed live at Cafe OTO, one duo per side, the first with free vocalist Phil Minton for understated gargling and instrumental aberrations; the second with guitarist John Russell."
A Family of Three (Band Photo)
"... in Trophies, Alessandro Bosetti is more of a "voice actor" than a singer, but above all he is the director of a contemporary Post-Artrock program, in which very precise laws give life to long lasting soundworlds to support and give shape to his poetry. They transforms these very special yet fragile compositions into bubbling, pulsating, sometimes sea-quiet sound abstracts, sometimes resembling to squarepusher/thundercat-like elegant nervousness but never completely tied to a specific style or appeased into a genre." -Diedrich Diederichsen - Spex Magazine July 2017."
A History of Nothing
Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee Kent Kessler & Chris Corsano
"Amado’s quartet is in peak form, exerting another biting album that comprehends both volcanic and ruminative sonic layers. Just let the freedom touch you while enjoying this finely calibrated commotion. -Filipe Freitas "
A Life is a Billion Heartbeats
Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides
"“A Life Is A Billion Heartbeats” continues Yannis Kyriakides + Andy Moor's exploration and mining of the rich and mysterious terrain of Greek rebetika music from the early 20th century. -Unsounds"
A Map of Guilt
Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall
"The duo was recorded at the Viennese Garnison7 studio on January 2013. The short opening piece, "The smell on her arms", sets the album eccentric atmosphere. It features Gustafsson breathing into the baritone sax and adds percussive touches with the sax keys while Nordwall colors the piece with subtle electronics sounds. The title piece is a 19-minutes atmospheric drone that offers waves and whirlwinds of troubled, distorted sounds, The other shorter pieces continue this minimalist-psychedelic vein but with more concrete and tangible, raw breathes through the sax and touches on the guitar strings, still maintain the basic, naked vibe of the opening piece. Only the last piece, "Marks covered by wet cloth", is charged with a noisy urgency, much needed intense energy and even traces of fragmented, tortured melody."
"If you count The Thing’s collaborations with Joe McPhee, James Blood Ulmer, Ken Vandermark, Neneh Cherry, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore and DKV Trio too, Again is their 20th album (including the compilation Now and Forever and the split album The Music of Norman Howard with School Days, another Gustafsson project). Literally speaking, The Thing have done it again. After 17 years in the same line-up (Mats Gustafsson on saxes, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on acoustic and electric bass and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums) you might think that the band’s music has become predictable, that their mélange of free jazz, blues, rock and noise is actually a cul-de-sac because the musical options are exhausted. However, it isn’t. Though Again is the well-proved mixture of cover versions and original compositions, this time the focus is rather on jazz. The only cover, Decision in Paradise, is an old, rather conventional Frank Lowe piece. The Thing turn the tempo down considerably and a trumpet provided by Joe McPhee, the guest star on this track, transforms the falling lines of the original’s opening passage into painfully bruised sounds before Gustafsson strips the delicate melody to the bone (doing this, it reminds me of Gershwin’s “Summertime“). Bass, trumpet and saxophone dance around each other in slow motion and only after four minutes Nilssen-Love enters the game in order to give the piece more drive and tension. It’s the band’s typical way to take possession of a composition which is not their own. - Martin Schray (Free Jazz Blog) Full review here: www.freejazzblog.org/2018/06/the-thing-again-trost-records-2018.html "
All Night Burner
The Crown Royals
"This instrumental Chicago quartet plays a funky, low-down, utterly addictive combination of rock, blues and jazz, one that seduces the listener with captivating grooves and rock-solid rhythms. -Chicago Tribune"
An International Report
"Like a prize fighter, the ensemble moves with all the nimble dexterity of a small group when needed, bobbing and weaving until an opening presents itself, delivering precise jabs or opening out to rain down a concentrated torrent of blows. Hailing from a city which has had a hand in producing some top class large ensembles in recent years, Audio One is instantly a contender to the throne (Matthew Grigg, The Free Jazz Collective)"
Akira Sakata / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilssen-Love
"A focused force of nature, the trio burns a path as precise as a straight line, and as deep as a scar. -Bird is the Worm"
"Starlite Motel consists of some players you’ve probably seen mentioned on this website before: bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, drummer Gard Nilssen, Kristoffer Berre Alberts on both alto and tenor saxophones, and Jamie Saft on a multitude of instruments: Hammond organ, Whitehall organ, Moog, and lap steel guitar. This fascinating configuration makes for an equally fascinating listen, one that toes the line between improvisational jazz and psychedelic rock with dexterous abandon. —Derek Stone, Free Jazz Blog"
James Blood Ulmer and The Thing
"This is not a James Blood Ulmer album. This is not a The Thing Album. If that’s only what you’re after I can highly recommend the magnificent Blood’ album ‘Tales of Captain Black’ from 1979, or The Thing’s ‘BOOT! from 2013. Furthermore, one simply cannot say what James Blood Ulmer is, as far as genres go. Is he jazz? Is he funk? Is he rock or blues? Is he ‘someone-who-took-Jimi-Hendrix-playing-to-the-next-level’? I’m just going to leave it at this: he’s James Blood Ulmer. He’s a living legend as far as breaking boundaries in cross-genre guitar playing goes. - Gustav Lindqvist"
"Bengt is a solo recording by Mats Gustafsson and is dedicated to Bengt Nordström. Mats Gustafsson plays a plastic alto sax. A classic Grafton sax. The type of sax that was used by Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman and Bengt Nordström. Nordström is best known having produced Albert Ayler´s first recording Something Different!!!!!! on his Bird Note imprint. It is in his own role as a sax player Bengt was truly inventive. Bengt was playing solo sax improvisation already in 1962 (!!!) Nordström mentored Swedish reedman Mats Gustafsson in addition to playing in a quartet with drummer Peter Uuskyla, bassist Bjorn Ålke, and violinist Lars Svantesson. Nordström died in 2000 at age 63. Bengt is a celebration of the music and the man behind it. On this record you might not hear the Gustafsson you are used to, but this is the real Mats. "
"There is an unsettling darkness at work in Billow. It is not the black romanticism of teenage depression, but the discomfort that pops up at turning points, the discomfort from reading ghost stories, the short gasp when you stare down a cliff. Maybe all hallucinations that seem too real. Despite the bleakness and even hints of violence (bones get broken, curtains burn), the songs retain a slightly surreal vibe and scattered moments of fragile nakedness (“Sunflowerbby”). While many aspiring singer-songwriters attempt to get it all out at once and end up with over-wrought songs that try to convey too much, there’s a refreshing spirit and compactness to these songs. It is an intriguing and inventive series of stories and dreams, set to carefully crafted music. Elusive, suggestive and unvarnished, yet always heavy with a promise of both adventure and unease, because, as Hessels repeats in “Welter”: “Luck is everyone in disorder”. ” -Guy Peters, September 2018"
"Melaku likes to call the music ‘Addis Tradition’, which means ‘new tradition’. And that how it is. You feel the strong, traditional Ethiopian tunes, deeply rooted in the culture of many regions, but you also sense the new generation of great dancers and musicians. All five of this Fendika group are extremely talented and groundbreaking in their technique and approach. -Terp Records"
Black Magic Man
"Although this is completely different music than “Nation Time” because McPhee wanted to add some freer elements, the band is the same: Mike Kull (p), Tyrone Crabb (b), Bruce Thompson (perc) and Ernest Bostic (dr). The album starts with the title track, and before Kull and Crabb join in McPhee and Bostic fight a real battle, they keep attacking each other, and then the whole track goes totally mad – best classical free jazz at the height of its time. But the central piece is “Song for Lauren”, a hymn-like, highly spiritual composition somewhere between Coltrane, Sanders and Ayler – and one of McPhee’s most heartfelt ones. (Martin Schray, The Free Jazz Collective)"